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Hackney artist Lucinda Rogers captures gentrification of Ridley Road market for new exhibition

PUBLISHED: 14:30 31 October 2017

Artist and activist Lucinda Rogers had never put the two activities together – until she was asked to capture the changing landscape of London. She tells the Gazette why she set up her easel in Ridley Road.

When an art gallery asked illustrator Lucinda Rogers to capture the changing landscape of London for a new exhibition, she knew where to go.

Lucinda, who lives and works in Hackney, headed straight to Ridley Road market, where she set about exploring the tension between the locals and the property developers who are driving up land value.

Overlooking the fruit and veg stalls is 57 East, a new luxury apartment block at the head of the market. And Lucinda, who can often be seen campaigning against gentrification and the loss of heritage buildings in Hackney, felt it represented change perfectly.

She said: “The gallery suggested I do something about London development and what’s going on in London – change, as a theme. I thought I’d like to draw Ridley Road, it really appealed to me.

“It’s been a very enjoyable place to be for all this time. Everyone, well not everyone, but most have been very accommodating.

“There’s so many people, so many characters. I do go there because my studio is very close but I have become a lot more familiar with it.

“The thing I was capturing along with the market is this new building, 57 East, at the head of the market. They call it a ‘marker building’. I drew the building from the market level and also drew the market from the building to get a duel perspective of it. Though it in itself isn’t a threat to the market, it does provide a sense of what’s to come.”

Lucinda is known for her work capturing the changing state of cities around the world. She drew New York’s Ground Zero in 2001, providing an insight into the recovery operation at a time when photography was barely permitted.

This is the first time she has combined her campaigning work, which includes protesting the closure of the Hackney Road bingo hall and the demolition of Hackney Wick’s studio Vittoria Wharf, with her illustrations.

“They are observations on a particular day, what I saw and discovered, my feelings about the market and its surroundings,” she said. “What I choose to leave out or leave in makes the picture.”

Lucinda Rogers: On Gentrification runs at House of Illustration’s South Gallery in Granary Square, King’s Cross until March 25.

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